“It’s been a blessing”

Sinead is a young woman who lives with her mum, dad and their family pets. Sinead has cerebral palsy and a visual impairment and lives in her own specially designed annexe at the side of the house where a team of assistants help her to live an independent life. In her spare time she enjoys going for walks, going out for meals, swimming and going to the disco – which she attends once every week. On top of this, she has recently managed to access the local swimming pool where she can hire the pool for an hour in order for her to swim with her assistants.

Sinead has a team of six assistants, all of whom have bonded well with Sinead and with each other. Sinead recognises each of them by the sound of their voice and we’re reliably informed that the assistants really enjoy supporting her to live an independent life both at home and in the local community. Sinead and her family are also supported by Claire, a HomeCareDirect independent living advisor, who describes Susan as a “bright, wonderful young lady”. Sinead has clearly made a lasting and lovely impression further afield than her own care assistants!

Our role at HomeCareDirect is to help people to choose and organise their own personal assistants, and then HomeCareDirect take on the employer responsibilities to save people this very often daunting task.

We supported Sinead’s family to advertise and interview for their own staff, whilst we make sure the legal aspects of employment are taken care of. We continue to provide ongoing support with the training of the personal assistants to CQC standard to ensure they’re always up to date with latest practices, whilst taking on all the responsibilities of being an employer – leaving Susan to enjoy her swimming at the local baths!

Sinead’s mum talked about the advantages of having control over their care at home – “Lots of good points! It helps Sinead and our whole family to live a bit of a better life. Sinead can go out with her carers to a disco or swimming – the carers have time to be with her. We’ve got a bit of our life back!”

Many of the people who use our service and their families comment that having their care managed in this way has allowed them more time to be a family, or to have more respite time for holidays or hobbies. At HomeCareDirect, we believe passionately in stable teams of personal assistants who are able to provide continuity of care and an environment where long lasting relationships are built. We hope that our approach helps to enable families to spend more time being families, whilst helping people to be an active part of their community through directing their own support.

We asked – would you recommend self-directed support and HomeCareDirect to other people?

Sinead’s family said “Definitely, yes I would – it’s been a blessing!”